A small story to begin with ..
Email from Bride to be – You seem to be an expert into Destination Wedding Planning, I am looking for some exotic locations for my Wedding. Could you please suggest a few?
Wedding Planner – Yes! here is a list of most popular destinations and further the names of most demanded and suitable Hotels/Resorts/Venues. [list and details are shared generously]
This is followed by series of questions in emails.
2 weeks later …
Bride to be – I have gone through the list and I really liked few of them. I am in process to obtain the quotation from them and realised most of the ones you recommended have their “in-house Wedding Planner”, I just wanted to know why I should spend on you separately when Hotel would extend sufficient help in my wedding and that too free of cost.
Wedding Planner – 😡 … :-s
End of story
How many times a week do you hear back such response as a Wedding Planner?
Yes, it does pinch when you as a professional Wedding Planner are compared at par with so called “wedding planners” housed by the Hotels these days.
If as a bride or groom you are also wandering why a professional full time wedding planner has an edge over “Hotel’s in-house” wedding planner, please read below 5 top reasons to reconsider before asking the above question.
Did you just realise it was a Wedding Planner only who helped you with initial information and suggestions, he/she added own credibility to the names?
1. Time, efforts & resources
An in-house Wedding Planner deals with multiple number of weddings at one point of time and may be planning 2 simultaneous weddings on same dates. Allocation of time to attend your queries, efforts to take up your stress and limitation of resources at Hotel’s end could not be ignored. Delayed response time and followup emails to hotel is what you should be prepared for.
A professional wedding planner on the other hand would generally be allocating enough of time & team efforts to respond your emails/phone calls & whatsapp messages promptly. Would attend to each query and aim at reducing stress and pressure at your end. Act proactive to cruise you through the entire planning phase.
Talking about time, after all you looked up to hire a wedding planner because you do not have sufficient time to dive into this sea. You must buy enough time from a professional to save yours.
2. Business & focus
Hotel’s are into business of selling Rooms, selling food & hosting events. The focus is on a larger interest. A separate team (and not a staff or two) to deal with the wedding inquiries, further questions, all the planning elements and until execution is rare most. Generally a shared F&B sales team shall be handling your wedding and at the best an empaneled Decorator.
Professional Wedding Planner is into the core business of “designing, customising & executing” the wedding of your dreams. They give you all the ears, see from your eyes and act on your behalf. They take an absolute responsibility of success of your wedding. They make living out of it and which is why they give 100%.
3. Single Point of contact, the one who plans is the one who is on ground to assist you round the clock
It takes 6 months to 18 months to plan a destination wedding, Hotel staff is “mobile” and there is a high possibility that during the process when you start to feel comfortable with the face from Hotel’s end, you receive a courtesy email stating that someone else would not be taking care of it. What feeling does it leave you with?
For various aspects you may even be dealing with multiple heads from sales, f&B, reservations, concierge, security and what not.
With a full time wedding planner, do you see a comfort of dealing with single point of contact? Organisations driven by passionate wedding planners ensure that they have a long term commitment and they are there personally during the entire journey. The team is experienced and they are equally excited to be part of your wedding towards the end.
All your concerns, queries, rants & raves are directed through a single point of contact towards the Hotel and the suppliers. Planning an overseas wedding is itself a big stress and frustration to deal with multiple identities could be really discouraging.
4. Its all about detail, who takes responsibility?
If booking Rooms, deciding on food menu and sourcing in vendors were sufficient for a successful wedding, probably there was no need of a wedding planner ever.
Think about it, the larger part of wedding planning does deal with above elements but all it melts down to is “detailing”.
When you become part of planning process you understand that every day and every hour you would have something popping up back of brain which you want to share and memorise. That is where you need a professional help!
Breaking down the tasks and decisions to be taken over the period, procatively guding the way ahead, creating wedding website & pinterest boards, helping you visualise the settings & decor remotely, preparing budget, referring and contracting the suppliers, preparing the flow of events and time line, dry run of anything and everything to find possible pits, technical and logistical evaluation of entire plan, guests management before the wedding, helping each of your guest to plan their travel and sort their queries, shopping around for the ideas, all the leg work on your behalf, negotiations …. the list is endless!!!
Do you think an “in-house” wedding planner at the Hotel is committing to above?
5. Communication & Coordination
A Wedding is at the least 132 piece orchestra which has to perform live without a practice session!
Imagine the sync between yourself, family, guests, vendors, hotel staff, circumstances, time and what not 🙂
A professional wedding planner is definitely not a Superman to bring the world together but surely an expert who knows how to orchestrate the wedding to bring in each element in time and with efficiency.
A large part of planning goes into communication and everything said and written needs to be well compiled off in an action plan. Wedding Planners have team to coordinate each aspect of execution like hospitality, vendor management, production, operations etc. They are well organised and designated.
Talking about in-house wedding planners of Hotels, I have personally experienced that even a well compiled action plan which is communicated multiple times gets at miss and we are approached with unexpected questions and demands at the last minute. The best of Hotel’s team internally fail to give importance to each detail and which is why the details do not reach to the ground where they have to be implemented.
“I was not told about this” is the last word you would want to hear after investing months in communicating what you need. isn’t it?
To sum up, this blog doesn’t intend to devaluate the Hotel’s in-house wedding planners but give you a contrast of what to expect. At the best the in-house wedding planners could work as a layer between you (bride/groom) and the professional wedding planner to ease out the communication hurdles by internally circulating the required information and supporting on ground.